But Honestly, Monica, How Does the Cooks Source Editor Still Have a Job?

Judith Griggs, who ignited a firestorm of criticism with her flippant response to a writer whom she stole from, issues a half-hearted apology

Judith Griggs, the editor who ignited nothing short of a firestorm of criticism by responding to a writer, Monica Gaudio — who noticed her work had been taken from a blog and published in Griggs’ Cooks Source magazine without her consent — with a ridiculous defense, attempted to apologize (I think) on Facebook, where most of the knives are being pointed.

Here’s Griggs’ Facebook “apology”:

Hi Folks!

Well, here I am with egg on my face! I did apologise to Monica via email, but aparently it wasnt enough for her. To all of you, thank you for your interest in Cooks Source and Again, to Monica, I am sorry — my bad! You did find a way to get your "pound of flesh…" we used to have 110 "friends," we now have 1,870… wow!

… Best to all, Judith

In case you missed it, here was Griggs’ outrageous, breathtakingly dumb (and spellcheck-bereft) response that sparked the viral firestorm:

Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.

But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me… ALWAYS for free!

Not only is Cooks Source in desperate need of a freelance budget, they're now going to need one for PR damage control.

According to Gaudio’s Livejournal entry — which inspired the outrage — Griggs’ response was to Gaudio’s request for “an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.”

All of which seems reasonable, given Griggs’ apparent theft of Gaudio’s work.

What isn’t reasonable, given Griggs’ flippant attitude, is her apparent job security. If her handling of this situation isn’t a fire-able “offence,” I don’t know what is.

Note: I attempted to contact Griggs and Cooks Source magazine, but their website is down — no doubt from crush of galvanized, angry writers coming to Gaudio's defense.

But from my perspective, Griggs oughta be cooked.